Microsoft adds more services to its Azure Arc multi-cloud management stack

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Microsoft has launched a set of new Azure services that organizations can now run on any CNCF-conformant Kubernetes cluster using its Azure Arc multiple-cloud service.

At its virtual Build 2021 event, Microsoft said its cloud services, such as Azure App Service, Functions, Logic Apps, API Management, and Event Grid, would now all be Arc-enabled (in preview form). Azure Arc, launched in 2019, is Microsoft's tool to help firms manage Kubernetes container clusters across clouds and on-premises data centers.

The firm said that these Azure application services can be deployed to any Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)-conformant Kubernetes cluster connected via Azure Arc.

The services now enabled includes Azure App Service for creating and managing web apps and APIs with a fully managed platform and features like autoscaling, deployment slots, and integrated web authentication; Azure Functions for event-driven programming with autoscaling, and triggers and bindings to integrate with other Azure services; Azure Logic Apps for creating automated workflows for integrating apps, data, services, and backend systems, as well as Azure API Management for dealing with internal and external APIs.

"The app services are now Azure Arc-enabled, which means customers can deploy Web Apps, Functions, API gateways, Logic Apps and Event Grid services on pre-provisioned Kubernetes clusters," the firm said in a statement.


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"This takes advantage of features including deployment slots for A/B testing, storage queue triggers, and out-of-box connectors from the app services, regardless of run location. With these portable turnkey services, customers can save time building apps, then manage them consistently across hybrid and multi-cloud environments using Azure Arc."

Microsoft added that with this capability now in preview, customers don't have to choose between the productivity of platform as a service (PaaS) and the control of Kubernetes, as the same app services can run with either model.

Gabe Monroy, vice president for Azure Developer Experience at Microsoft, said in a blog post that one of the challenges he heard from customers was that despite the enhanced control and ecosystem benefits of Kubernetes, Kubernetes is difficult for developers to use directly. Developers must learn many advanced concepts and APIs, which can hurt their productivity.

"With today's announcement, developers no longer have to choose between the productivity of Azure application services and the control of Kubernetes," he added.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.